Musty flat file?

Information on shipping, storing and repairing your art, plus your reviews on products for art collecting, making, storing, etc..
User avatar
camaroz06
Art Connoisseur
Posts: 445
Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2011 3:03 pm

Sun Jul 29, 2012 10:51 am

Hi All,
Anyone ever have a musty smelling flat file? I picked one up off craigslist and after awhile of it sitting in my room I noticed it smells musty inside. It must have been in the basement of the people I bought it from. My prints are ok and they arent in there right now but I want to clean out the flat file so I can use it without worrying about the prints becoming musty as well. How would you guys go about cleaning it? Bleach/water and air drying it out?

I didnt think painted metal surfaces could get a musty smell.
User avatar
summoner
Art Freak
Posts: 11179
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:22 am

Sun Jul 29, 2012 11:08 am

I would use (and did actually on the ones I just bought) some Lysol Bleach Wipes on the drawers, and then get a box of baking soda, the kinds that has to removable side like you would use in a fridge, and put that in one of the drawers. That should help to get that small out of there over time. There should be something that is actually causing the smell though, getting rid of that will keep it from coming back.

I had not thought of this before, but has anyone used a block of cedar in their file to help keep moths, and the lot, away from the paper? Using a small block of cedar should keep the bugs from being attracted to the paper, as well as providing a nice small over all.
Image Image Image
User avatar
camaroz06
Art Connoisseur
Posts: 445
Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2011 3:03 pm

Sun Jul 29, 2012 11:29 am

summoner wrote:I would use (and did actually on the ones I just bought) some Lysol Bleach Wipes on the drawers, and then get a box of baking soda, the kinds that has to removable side like you would use in a fridge, and put that in one of the drawers. That should help to get that small out of there over time. There should be something that is actually causing the smell though, getting rid of that will keep it from coming back.

I had not thought of this before, but has anyone used a block of cedar in their file to help keep moths, and the lot, away from the paper? Using a small block of cedar should keep the bugs from being attracted to the paper, as well as providing a nice small over all.
I had wiped down the inside with those wipes already. It cut the smell but its still there but not as bad as when I first started. I dont see any mold in there though after wiping it down with the wipes. Maybe Ill do the baking soda for a week and then see if it still smells and go the bleach/water route.
IWish
Art Expert
Posts: 9831
Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 12:23 am

Sun Jul 29, 2012 11:36 am

For years, I've been using pure vanilla extract to eliminate odors. It's always worked for me.

Make homemade vanilla sachets. I use a sponge (or papertowel/folded) and apply the extract then put it in a ziploc baggie (punch holes in the baggie to let it breath). Also, use a spray bottle with diluted vanilla/water solution - spray and wipe down the entire unit.

https://www.google.com/search?q=vanilla ... =firefox-a
User avatar
summoner
Art Freak
Posts: 11179
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:22 am

Sun Jul 29, 2012 11:37 am

I would be careful when introducing water to the mixture, if it's an older flat file that is sure to begin the rust process if there are any breaks in the paint. Baking soda should be a good option, and would also help to keep the ambient moisture down inside the file itself.

I am thinking of going out and grabbing one just to keep in the file full time, seeing as baking soda is a base I would think that this would help to reduce any acids that are in the air from effecting the prints as well.
Image Image Image
User avatar
wonkabars7
Art Expert
Posts: 7122
Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 2:13 pm

Sun Jul 29, 2012 11:39 am

White vinegar.
IWish
Art Expert
Posts: 9831
Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 12:23 am

Sun Jul 29, 2012 11:40 am

Yes. Vinegar works too, but pure vanilla smells so much better. ;)
User avatar
summoner
Art Freak
Posts: 11179
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:22 am

Sun Jul 29, 2012 11:41 am

wonkabars7 wrote:White vinegar.
Umm, I would not put vinegar ANYWHERE NEAR where I would be storing prints. Vinegar is acidic and can leave a residue... I could be being paranoid, but that is just me.
Last edited by summoner on Sun Jul 29, 2012 11:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
Image Image Image
User avatar
wonkabars7
Art Expert
Posts: 7122
Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 2:13 pm

Sun Jul 29, 2012 11:41 am

Vanilla vinegar!
User avatar
camaroz06
Art Connoisseur
Posts: 445
Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2011 3:03 pm

Sun Jul 29, 2012 11:41 am

summoner wrote:I would be careful when introducing water to the mixture, if it's an older flat file that is sure to begin the rust process if there are any breaks in the paint. Baking soda should be a good option, and would also help to keep the ambient moisture down inside the file itself.

I am thinking of going out and grabbing one just to keep in the file full time, seeing as baking soda is a base I would think that this would help to reduce any acids that are in the air from effecting the prints as well.
Yeah unfortunately the paint is broken in a few places and there is a bit of rust. Nothing horrible. I was hoping to wipe it down and then roll some rustoleum on the rust spots.
User avatar
wonkabars7
Art Expert
Posts: 7122
Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 2:13 pm

Sun Jul 29, 2012 11:43 am

summoner wrote:
wonkabars7 wrote:White vinegar.
Umm, I would not put vinegar ANYWHERE NEAR where I would be storing prints. Vinegar is high on the acidic scale and can leave a residue. I could be being paranoid, but that is just me.
You dilute with water. No residue will be left. This is why you add a bit of vinegar in dishwashers to get rid of lime, mold, build up, etc.

Also, I would do a water only rinse afterwards, just for peace of mind. Then dry. Then print insertion.
IWish
Art Expert
Posts: 9831
Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 12:23 am

Sun Jul 29, 2012 11:44 am

Put a couple of drops of vanilla in the baking soda...maybe?
User avatar
summoner
Art Freak
Posts: 11179
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:22 am

Sun Jul 29, 2012 11:51 am

If ever I get a print that smells of vanilla, I know EXACTLY where it has been! :lol:
Image Image Image
IWish
Art Expert
Posts: 9831
Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 12:23 am

Sun Jul 29, 2012 11:58 am

Heh. As a matter of fact, I store my unused tubes in large (tied-up) garbage bags. I throw-in a vanilla sachet in each one.
User avatar
suchanoo
Art Expert
Posts: 2163
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 11:48 pm
Location: UK

Mon Jul 30, 2012 1:57 am

How about stuffinga bunch of silica gel bags into the drawers and leaving it for a few weeks? That stuff will drawer out any excess moisture. Also, you can buy big packs of dehumidifying gel (design to suck moisture out of rooms), that might also work.
UK Member? Reclaim some VAT... http://forum.expressobeans.com/viewtopi ... =8&t=85994
shut your mouth and open your mind
Post Reply